Serena Williams came through her first US Open test as a 6-3, 6-3 winner over a rank outsider, with the 23-time Grand Slam winner set for a stiffer challenge as she faces the world no. 2.
Williams who turns 41 in September and will retire after her run in New York – singles and doubles – ends, dispatched 80th-ranked Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-3.
She will now meet Latvian powerhouse Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday.
Williams needed just under an hour and three-quarters to advance in front of an adoring home public at the showcase Ashe court.
The 23-time grand Slam winner, dressed in intimidating all-black with shoes embedded with 400 diamonds threw down nine aces and broke five times.
She improved to 21-0 in first-round matches here;she has won 107 matches in New York with all but five being played on the main court.
Officials laid on a post-match tribute to Williams, taking advantage of her good mood after victory and getting the obligatory end-of-career ceremony done and dusted.
The crowd heroine lost three of the first four points before finding match rhythm against an inexperienced opponent.
“I always feel so comfortable on this court,” Williams said. “When I step on the court I just want to do the best I can.
“The crowd was crazy. It really helped pull me through.
“It’s been such a hard decision (to retire). Because when you’re passionate about something, love something so much it’s hard to walk away.
“I was just like all right, now’s the time. There’s other chapters in life.
“It’s going to be Serena 2.0.”
Main photo:- Serena Williams sparkles with diamonds in her last tournament – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd